As the global economy continues to lurch like a death-defying thrill ride
, the ability to drive opportunity locally is becoming essential, and support of local businesses — as evidenced by the cash mob phenomenon
— has become a passion point for many. Now, some innovators are taking the idea of "local" to a new level by developing industry-focused communities designed to generate sustainable commerce within ecosystems no larger than a few city blocks, or even a single ship.
is a forthcoming floating city that will house fledgling technology companies. The concept ship, scheduled to open next year, will be anchored about 12 miles off the coast of California in international waters—meaning passengers won’t need a visa or work permit to reside on board. The hope is that startups will have more flexibility and fewer restrictions when hiring international employees. More than 100 companies
from the US, India and Australia have signed up. Those who typically require Dramamine to function on board need not worry, since daily ferries to The Land of Venture Capital
are part of the plan.
Developer Ron Beit and legendary architect Richard Meier
are transforming downtown Newark, NJ with eight new buildings on four square blocks called Teachers Village
. The community
will include three charter schools, more than 200 affordable housing facilities for educators, a day care center, and space for retail stores and restaurants. Michael Duffy, former director of the NYC Department of Education’s Charter School Office, crows, “It puts the people who work in those schools at the heart of the equation, as opposed to just a movie theater, or restaurants, or some other kind of economic development activity.” The first building is expected to open in May 2013.
CornellNYC Tech: New York City’s rapidly expanding tech sector
is nipping at the heels of Silicon Valley. Eager to put its grads to work, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
has partnered with Cornell University
to create CornellNYC Tech
, an applied sciences university where engineers are trained as entrepreneurs from day one. Since NYC’s core industries are digital media, medical technology, and green energy, students will develop software and hardware specifically for those fields. Mentors will work directly with the students to help them foster innovation and guide them over hurdles they encounter along the way. The Roosevelt Island campus won’t open until 2017, but construction begins in 2014.